A federal grand jury in Michigan returned a six-count indictment on Wednesday charging alleged Christmas Day airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with attempting to use a “weapon of mass destruction” in a terror attack.
The indictment also charges him with attempted murder, attempting to destroy an aircraft, willfully placing a bomb on an aircraft, use of a bomb during a violent crime, and possession of a bomb during a violent crime. Those counts carry maximum sentences ranging from 20 to 30 years in prison.
“This investigation is fast-paced, global and ongoing, and it has already yielded valuable intelligence that we will follow wherever it leads,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
“Anyone we find responsible for this alleged attack will be brought to justice using every tool – military or judicial – available to our government,” Mr. Holder said.
Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to detonate explosive material he had hidden in his underwear. Rather than explode, the material caught fire and alert passengers and crew on the Christmas Day flight subdued Abdulmutallab and put out the fire.
Shortly after the incident the plane landed safely in Detroit.
The federal court case in Detroit could expand dramatically should Abdulmutallab’s alleged contacts in Yemen be identified, captured, and turned over to US authorities.
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